Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick wasn’t the only Vine-worthy occurrence during Saturday’s 2016 Euro qualifier between Portugal and Armenia in Yerevan, Armenia. A pitch invader also got some Internet shine after evading a handful of security officials while sprinting almost around the entirety of the field.
The invader’s speed got the attention of Twitter, who quickly found ways to crack jokes about a future signing.
The invader, who was later identified as Shahen Harutyunyan, did not invade the field hoping to gain the eyes of sports agents, however. Instead, he came on the field to protest political imprisonment in the country and specifically his father Shant Harutyunyan’s six-year sentence. The elder Harutyunyan heads the nationalist Tseghakron party.
“I invaded this very pitch, since one of the best football players was on the field and the world’s attention was focused on him,” Shahen Harutyunyan told News.am on Saturday after authorities released him. “I took advantage of the occasion to once again show the world that Armenia has political prisoners and we demand to set them free.”
Although it didn’t make the broadcast, Harutyunyan began his run with a banner that read, “Freedom for Shant Harutyunyan and other political prisoners,” as well as a T-shirt adorned with a photograph of his father.
Earlier in the day, two others barged onto the field during a pregame practice.
The two kids motivation wasn’t political, but simply to reach Ronaldo. The 30-year-old Portuguese super star didn’t seem too concerned about the security breach. He even gave one of the young intruders a hug and an autograph.
Portugal won, 3-2.
This post was updated with the name and motivation of the pitch invader.